Review Price free/subscription
JVC projectors first look - 2011 improvements
The e-Shift approach also explains why JVC’s X70 and X90 projectors (the X30 doesn’t have e-Shift) cost £7k and £10k respectively, whereas Sony’s VW1000Es is likely to be nearer the £25k mark. For while e-Shift has some fascinating potential for increasing the pixel density of the projected image, it doesn’t produce a true 4k2k image in the sense that every single pixel contains genuinely individual image data. The e-Shift resolution is more a ‘multiplication’ of the original 1920x1080 pixels in the source.
If you’re still struggling to understand the difference, then maybe it will help you to know that neither the X70 nor X90 projectors can actually take a native 4k2k signal (unlike Sony’s VW1000ES). This proves that e-Shift is not concerned with showing full 4k2k-resolution video masters in all their ultra high definition glory, but with creating 4k2k levels of pixel density from current HD video without adding any new picture data.
Another thing you need to know about the e-Shift 4k2k system is that it doesn’t work with 3D sources, but can work with standard definition sources - though only after they’ve been upscaled to full HD.
Moving on to other areas where JVC has improved things with its new trio of projectors, arguably the most important new feature addition is a 2D to 3D converter. This is available on all three of the new models and uses technology JVC has been working on for years now in its ‘professional’ department.
There are also new 3D options allowing you to adjust the depth of the 3D image, and an intriguing ‘crosstalk canceller’ that can hopefully dispense with the double ghosting problems associated with active 3D displays.
JVC is also introducing some new, considerably lighter 3D glasses to accompany its latest projectors, though these weren’t available for our ‘hands on’.
Ever mindful of the needs of the custom installation market with its top end projectors, JVC has added a new ‘convergence’ system on the X70 and X90. This divides the screen into sectors that allow an installer to fine tune locally the relative ‘position’ of the RGB colour elements, to make sure there’s no colour leakage anywhere in the image.
JVC has taken a leaf out of Panasonic’s book, too, by introducing to all three new projectors a lens memory, so that you can establish separate ‘in-projector’ settings to suit the projection of 1.85:1 and 2.35:1-ratio films. What’s more, unlike the lens memory on Panasonic’s AT5000, JVC’s version works with 3D as well as 2D.
The X90 model, meanwhile, allows you to calibrate its colour profile via a PC, the projector’s RJ45 jack, and some proprietary software that will be available for download by the time the projectors go on sale.
Other more minor improvements include claimed native contrast ratios of 80,000:1 and 120,000:1 for the X70 and X90 versus 70,000:1 and 100,000:1 for the X7 and X9 (the X30 sticks with the X3’s 50,000:1 figure), a cluster of extra calibration controls, and a couple of extra user-definable picture preset slots.
Moving finally into JVC’s enviable demo room, we were given plenty of time with pre-production samples of the X30 as well as the X70. And it’s fair to say that if the final production models are as good as these demo units, JVC looks set to have yet another critically acclaimed year.